How do I get stripes in my lawn?

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Do you ever look at the neighbor’s lawn and feel green with envy? Sure, you’ve got a healthy green lawn, but it’s missing something. Wouldn’t it be nice if your lawn were that… perfect? It can be! With a healthy lawn, a few tips and tricks to add striping will give you the best looking yard in your neighborhood in no time. Here’s how you can get professional-looking stripes in your lawn.

You May Want a Pro

There is a reason lawn striping is associated with professional sports teams in the NFL and MLB. You should consider hiring a lawn care specialist to achieve the same effect in your backyard. However, if you want to try it yourself, there’s no special equipment you need to facilitate this style. It’s simply a trick of light reflection that you can easily recreate once you understand the underlying mechanics.

White Stripes

They’re not actually white, but when you perform striping correctly, some parts of the lawn will appear much lighter in tone than the rest. The explanation is that the bend of the grass blades determines the reflection of light. When you mow one straight line bending grass toward your home then mow the next one by bending grass away from your home, you create the striping effect.

You don’t need any attachments or an expensive riding lawnmower to perform this trick, either. All you need to understand is that your perspective influences striping. If you look at the grass you just mowed from your home, the row you mowed toward your home will appear dark. Conversely, the row you mowed away will seem light.

If you go stand out on the street across from your home and look at the same grass, however, the pattern will flip. Now, the away row is light while the row mowed toward the home is dark. That’s the trick of light. Sections that your mower has bent toward you are darker due to the shadows cast under the blades of grass themselves. The ones bent away from you don’t display the shadows and are instead reflecting more light back at you, so they seem lighter.

Styling and Profiling

When you stripe your yard, the main consideration is the height of your mower. You’ll want to change the setting to a higher cutting. That maximizes the potential bend of the grass; shorter grass simply can’t bend as much. Yes, that does mean you’ll have to mow more often, but it’s well worth the extra effort.

Using a mowing height of three inches, you’ll want to walk in a straight line until the end of the row. Turn around and repeat the process. If you want to add a special checkerboard look, that’s easily accomplished. Spin your mower 90 degrees and repeat the process for each row. Striping your lawn is that simple, you only need to understand that it’s a trick of light! Follow the steps above, and you’ll have the perfect yard in no time.

Image via Flickr by AdamKr